Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Stop Judging & Feeling Judged, The Release We Need in 2014

What is it with me offending people? I have some crazy ability; I can do it just by walking.
  • My wife told me she thought I was cocky the first time we met because I had wild, curly hair.
  • A co-worker told me she didn’t like me because I was too upbeat and happy all the time.
  • A stranger told me to stop acting like I was better than him just because I had muscles.
  • Multiple times I’ve been told that I think I’m better than people just because I go to church.

I think you can relate. Numerous of times in my life I’ve been judged without even opening my mouth.  In all honesty, I’m guilty too. 
  • When I was younger I used to judge people because they had money.
  • I used to think if people weren’t fit then they didn’t care.
  • I used to think Christians were hypocrites.

People will judge or feel judged just from reading this article.

(Note: “judging” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, being of good judgment towards a dangerous person could save your life. For the purpose of this article though, I mean any feelings of animosity, hostility, resentment, disrespect, offensiveness, etc., stirred up within yourself, or towards another human being, causing moderate to severe distress within yourself or them.)

After 31 years of walking on this earth I’ve realized what a waste of time and energy it is to do both. I’m making a commitment in 2014 to keep working on some very important things:

Before you put something out there, post something, say something, do something, make sure it’s coming from the right place and only the right place, LOVE.  Analyze what your intent is, decide if it’s important enough, and deliver it so that it’s heard right. If someone still takes it the wrong way, then that’s on them.  There’s nothing you can do about it.

Before you get upset about what someone else says or does, make sure you analyze their intent. Where is their heart? Do they mean well? Do they just have a different perspective from different life experiences? Did they really mean to disrespect you when they said or did that?  Or was it an innocent comment or action that you took the wrong way?  Does it really matter if they live their life a different way?  It’s not weird, just different.

Authentic is defined as “not false or copied, genuine, REAL.”  No matter what, you have to be true to who you are. You can’t worry about how others will react. Molding into their belief system isn’t healthy for your soul. Walking on egg shells to appease them isn’t either.  I’ll never forget an older African-American woman I used to work with. Talk about blunt, this lady had no filter. She told you if your pants were too tight, if you had a booger hanging out of your nose, how you should do your job, what she thought about religion, politics, abortion, all things that no one ever wants to talk about.  But she said it out of love. And the reason I love and respected her so much was because she was REAL. What you saw was what you got. She didn’t hide anything. She was herself in every situation.  #nevertrytogainthewholeworldbutloseyoursoul

This is a concept I use in all aspects of life---to-do lists, fitness performance, trials and struggles, and especially emotions. You should always act with the utmost decency, integrity, and character towards other human beings. But once that’s done, then you have to remember, you’ll never make everyone happy and it’s exhausting to even try. Care about people and how you affect them, but don’t care so much if they’re just misinterpreting, assuming, or implying who you are and your character, and not putting an honest effort towards number two above.

We weren’t given that right (unless you're Judge Russo). God didn’t put it on our responsibility list. I fall back on these Words: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Eph 4:29)

“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?” (from Matt 7:1-5)

We should always be open to constructive criticism and opportunities to change and become better. If there’s validity to reactions and opinions against us, take it and grow from it. If there’s no validity, and it’s just a bunch of hogwash, then don’t let it prohibit, prevent, and detract you from focusing on better things. People don’t define you and their opinions sure don’t either. “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt 6:27) 

Judging and condemning can wreak havoc on your health and well-being. Don’t let it get the best of you today. It’s an absolute game-changer.

Keep striving to make 2014 the best year yet.

It's not about us.

Coach Theo

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